Bosch and KitchenAid dishwashers are two brands that have remained at the top of reviewers' lists amid good competition. If you're in the market for a dishwasher, chances are your final choice will boil down to Bosch vs KitchenAid.
That is precisely why we’ve created this article: to help you make an informed decision between them. We’ll examine both the small and significant factors that you should consider before going for either of these powerhouse brands. We'll also share our favorite models from both Bosch and KitchenAid dishwasher selection in 2022.
How Do Bosch and KitchenAid Dishwashers Stack Up?
The KitchenAid dishwasher was the top brand for a long time before Bosch entered the market. The German brand introduced quiet dishwashers at a time when dishwasher noise was a huge problem. Bosch slowly edged past KitchenAid in reliability, cleaning performance, and drying. In fact, our coveted best dishwashers list doesn't include any KitchenAid dishwashers.
That being said, KitchenAid still delivers with its remarkable features, especially in the washing, capacity, and filtration categories. Newer KitchenAid dishwasher models also operate more quietly, helping them compete with European brands like Bosch.
Bosch dishwashers come in five classes distinguished by feature richness. There’s the entry-level 100 series, with models that have a plastic-bottom tub; the 300 series, with a stainless-steel interior and ADA/18-inch variants; and the 500 series with their innovative design (people love the pocket handle) and AutoAir drying that opens the door to ensure all puddles of water evaporate. At the top of the list, the 800 series and Benchmark series have premium dishwasher features like Wi-Fi connectivity, a water softener, Crystal dry, the lowest silence ratings, and custom finishes.
Overall, KitchenAid and Bosch are great and reliable dishwasher brands that are fairly similar in quality. Both offer machines with a stainless steel interior, and both have a nice selection of cycles and rack adjustability. The differences between the two brands are in style, reliability, price, and washing and drying performance.
Bosch offers a superior selection with more than 100 dishwashers covering a variety of features, visual designs, and price points.
Let’s look at the similarities and differences between Bosch and KitchenAid in detail. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about our criteria, see our choosing a dishwasher guide.
Quietness between Bosch and KitchenAid
Finding the quietest dishwasher is very important to most people. You don't want to have a dishwasher disturbing your dinner when you can easily select a quieter option for a comparable price. Bosch makes the quietest dishwashers on the U.S. market, with most hovering between 38 decibels (dB) and 44 dB.
All of the newer KitchenAid dishwashers come in at 39 or 44 dB, which is even quieter than a library. But KitchenAid wasn’t always known for quiet dishwashers. It wasn’t until Bosch entered the market with quiet dishwashers that KitchenAid got rid of the noisy hard food grinder in its machines.
All Bosch dishwashers have noise levels below 48 dB—quieter than typing at your computer. The quietest Bosch dishwashers are so silent that they beam a light on the floor to indicate that they're running.
Pro Tip: Bosch makes the quietest dishwashers on the market. The company has a vast selection of ultra-quiet dishwashers.
Do They Clean Well?
Both KitchenAid and Bosch score pretty high in the washing category. They have similar and impressive wash cycles/options that ensure dishes are sparkling clean after wash.
KitchenAid’s strong points lie in its high load capacity and quality filtration system. With the average KitchenAid dishwasher, you can wash as many as 15 full place settings in one load. That provides space for more dishes than the average family uses in a day.
For effective filtration, KitchenAid makes use of a triple filter system that includes an ultra-fine filter for removing dirt particles from the wash water. While KitchenAid’s filtration system is remarkable, the Bosch water softener places it on par with KitchenAid in the washing category.
The water softener is an important feature that not only ensures a better wash (if using hard water) but also prolongs the life of the dishwasher. Besides that, Bosch dishwashers come with two full-size wash arms, a top nozzle that sprays water directly onto the third rack, and a sound filtration system.
Pro Tip: Both a KitchenAid and Bosch dishwasher will give you superior cleaning performance. If you live in an area with hard water, consider a Bosch with a water softener over KitchenAid.
If we were to leave out their nearly similar wash cycles and performance, we’ll have to give KitchenAid the edge on cleaning. The company's Bottle Wash feature for sports and baby bottles is quite thoughtful and innovative too. However, we recommend using rinse aid to make up for the lack of water softener.
Bosch easily beats KitchenAid in this category thanks to its two new drying options: AutoAir Dry and CrystalDry.
KitchenAid’s good drying performance is thanks to the ProDry system and the optional Extended ProDry, available on the priciest models. The fan-enabled ProDry system makes use of a recessed heating element that draws moisture off dishes and also sanitizes them. It's a remarkable improvement on the interior stainless steel condenser drying method.
But ProDry is no match for Bosch’s zeolite-based CrystalDry system. The CrystalDry option raises the temperature inside the dishwasher to 176 degrees F for optimal drying, and it does this without consuming extra energy! Bosch's AutoAir Dry then opens the dishwasher door automatically after the cycle's done to let in fresh air for enhanced drying.
Pro Tip: Bosch offers three different drying options. As the price point gets higher, drying performance goes from good to best in class.
While KitchenAid has a better drying performance than someß popular dishwasher brands, Bosch remains the best in the industry.
Cycles and Wash Options
Bosch and KitchenAid have very similar wash cycles and options. High-end KitchenAid dishwasher models like the KTDE334GPS have the Normal, Light, Tough, ProWash, Express Wash, Rinse Only, ProDry, and Extended ProDry cycles. The washing options also include the Heat Dry, Sani Rinse, Bottle Wash, Hi-Temp Wash, Top Rack Only, and 1-24 Hour Delay.
For Bosch 800 series, the cycles include the Normal, Auto, Eco, Heavy, Rinse Only, and Speed60, as seen in the SHXM88Z75N. The washing options include the CrystalDry, Eco, Delay, Half Load, Delicate, and Sanitize. These are very similar in performance to those of the KitchenAid KTDE334GPS.
Both brands have comparable selection of cycles and options.
In reliability, we test for how much complaints users make for each particular brand, and how long it takes before the average dishwasher user has to make repairs on a new dishwasher.
Bosch dishwashers are generally more reliable than KitchenAid dishwashers. This, however, does not mean a Bosch dishwasher won’t need repairs or give you problems.
Available Design Styles
Aside from functionality, dishwasher design is one of the most important factors to consider, especially if you're someone who's apt to value aesthetics just as much as performance. Let’s look at how Bosch and KitchenAid compare design-wise.
Door Design Options
Bosch dishwashers come in five major door design options:
• Recessed Handle: The dishwasher has a visible control panel with a reach-in handle.
• Pocket Handle: The control panel is hidden to create a clean profile; the door has a reach-in handle.
• Bar Handle: The control panel is hidden, but the handle is a towel-bar style.
• Scoop Handle: The door has hidden controls with an elegant reach-in handle.
• Custom Panel: The door can accept custom cabinet panels for a seamless kitchen finish. Controls are hidden too.
KitchenAid dishwashers have four major door design options:
• Hidden Top controls and Towel Bar handle
• Hidden Top controls and Pocket handle
• Panel ready designs (which makes models like the KDTM504EPA very desirable)
• Door with a glass window
Panel Ready Dishwashers to Match Your Cabinets
Panel ready dishwashers is, perhaps, the category where Bosch completely outdoes KitchenAid.
KitchenAid dishwashers have a major downside. No model is truly 24 inches deep, which is the depth of the standard kitchen cabinet designs. These appliances are either 24¾ inches deep or 24 1/2 inches deep without factoring in the handle. For that reason, most kitchen designers prefer dishwashers with a completely flush install, like Bosch dishwashers, for a seamless kitchen design finish.
Pro Tip: Bosch dishwashers are made to fit seamlessly into your cabinets. You can find plenty of design options if you want the front of the dishwasher to match your kitchen cabinets.
Bosch also makes several panel ready dishwashers, like the Benchmark SGV68U53UC, for all price points, unlike KitchenAid which offers only the KDTM704LPA. If you truly want a custom kitchen finish, you'll have an easier time achieving it with Bosch rather than with KitchenAid.
Special Cases: 18-inch Dishwashers and ADA Height
Unlike KitchenAid, Bosch offers 18-inch dishwashers including the 800 Series SPX68U55UC for small apartments and other kitchen uses, like butler pantries. They're also a great solution for a secondary kitchen in a pool cabana or separate bar area.
Bosch also makes dishwashers that suitable for raised floors and shorter countertop heights. ADA dishwashers have a reduced height of 32 inches as opposed to the standard 33 or 34 inches. The controls and knobs also must be accessed readily with one arm. KitchenAid doesn't make ADA compliant dishwashers.
Pro Tip: KitchenAid doesn't make ADA height or 18-inch small dishwashers. Bosch is a category leader for specialty dishwashers.
Here, the similarity between the two brands ends with the stainless steel interior and the third rack, which is present in all KitchenAid and most Bosch models. The stainless steel tub is necessary for condensation drying, and it stays looking nicer over time a plastic tub, which can get discolored.
Let’s consider the differences between KitchenAid and Bosch interiors:
High-end Bosch dishwashers have interior lights to light up the dishes inside. There's also the InfoLight, which projects onto the floor to tell you that the dishwasher is running. Most KitchenAid dishwashers don't have interior lights, and none have an InfoLight-esque feature.
While both KitchenAid and Bosch have a third rack in most of top models, Bosch makes the extra rack function more exciting thanks to the flexible MyWay Rack feature. The particular application, available on high-end Bosch dishwashers, is ideal for cereal bowls, ladles, ramekins, and more. Bosch also places a dedicated nozzle at the top of the tub to clean items on the third rack.
Adjustable Racks and Tines
Rack adjustment may not matter much to you until you have to wash a big pot and realize it can’t fit. That's when you'll appreciate a dishwasher with a flexible rack system. Bosch dishwashers have one that makes it easy to accommodate large pots and bowls. High-end KitchenAid dishwashers have racks that can be adjusted as well, but they're not as flexible or easy to use as Bosch’s.
For the tines, KitchenAid dishwashers have a compact tine arrangement that enables you to fit in more plates than Bosch dishwashers. That, and the unusual depth, are responsible for KitchenAid's high load capacity. Both Bosch and high-end KitchenAid dishwashers have adjustable tine systems that make it easy to fit awkward items onto the racks.
Connectivity and Smart Features
This is another category that clearly sets Bosch apart from KitchenAid as a dishwasher brand. KitchenAid has no dishwasher with Wi-Fi. Connectivity in KitchenAid home appliances is limited to its ovens and cooktops.
Some high-end (800 series and Benchmark) Bosch dishwashers are Wi-Fi enabled. They have also have a voice control option and are made to connect with the Bosch HomeConnect app, one of the best and most responsive connectivity apps in the home appliances industry.
Both Bosch and KitchenAid offer dishwashers to suit all budgets and price points. Bosch has a better dishwasher distribution by price thanks to its five series: the 100, 300, 500, 800, and the Benchmark series. As you move up to higher level, the dishwashers cost more but give you more for your money, in terms of design and functionality.
You can choose to get a dishwasher from the 100 series or the 800 series depending on your budget. If you want the most convenient and fully featured dishwasher , then you should go for the Bosch Benchmark series.
KitchenAid is a premium dishwasher brand with a smaller selection, so you should expect to get a good dishwasher for a higher price (around $900 and up).
Our Best Bosch and KitchenAid Dishwashers
Let’s briefly look at our top three dishwashers from both of the brands.
Top Three Bosch Dishwashers
1. Best Performance: Bosch SHPM65Z55N 500 Series
It comes with a flexible rack system (with EasyGlide) to accommodate large pots and an elegant pocket handle design that blends into any kitchen environment.
To complement the drying system, the SHPM65Z55N has the AutoAir drying option and also sports the InfoLight feature.
2. Best Overall: Bosch SHXM78Z55N 800 Series
The SHXM78Z55N—aka SHX878ZD5N—is the best of the renowned Bosch 800 series and also our top Bosch dishwasher. At 42 dB, it's very quiet and comes with InfoLight, which lights up when the dishwasher's in operation.
There's the flexible rack system (with EasyGlide) and impressive MyWay third rack. The dishwasher also has the zeolite-based CrystalDry option for the best drying performance.
Just like some 300 series dishwashers, the Bosch SHXM78Z55N has variants, including an ADA compliant model and an 18-inch small dishwasher. They all have Wi-Fi connectivity and connect to the Bosch HomeConnect app.
3. Best Luxury: Bosch Benchmark Dishwasher SHV88PZ63N
If you're looking for the best dishwasher money can buy, then the almost-noiseless SHV88PZ63N is our recommendation.
It’s packed with features including Wi-Fi, Bosch's exclusive InfoLight and MyWay rack, and extras like a water softener and interior lighting.
The SHV88PZ63N also comes in a panel ready design for a luxurious custom kitchen finish.
Top Three KitchenAid Dishwashers
1. Best Budget: KitchenAid 47 dB KDFE104KBL
At 47 dB, the KDFE104KBL is quieter than study hall. It has KitchenAid's ProWash cleaning technology and unique PrintShield fingerprint-proof stainless steel finish. This model may not compare with high-end KitchenAid dishwashers, but its features—especially its low noise level—are quite impressive for the price.
2. Quietest: KitchenAid 39 dB KDFE204KPS
The KitchenAid KDFE204KPS is practically silent. Besides the extremely low noise level, this model has a third rack to accommodate more dishes per load and SatinGlide rails on its top and third racks. A triple filtration system, HeatDry, and Extended HeatDry deliver clean, dry results. It comes in classic or black stainless steel with a PrintShield finish.
3. Best Value: KitchenAid 44 dB KDTM404KPS
The KDTM404KPS may be a smidge louder than some of its lower-priced siblings, but it comes with some worthwhile upgrades. Behind its gleaming PrintShield stainless steel finish, it has a FreeFlex third rack and ProWash system to get all your dishes clean in a single pass. The Advanced Clean Water Wash System is an industry-leading filtration option.
KitchenAid and Bosch dishwashers are both excellent and offer good value for the money. But aside from similarities in the wash cycle options and their stainless steel interiors, Bosch dishwashers edge out KitchenAid in design, functionality, cleaning performance, reliability, and even price.